The group has managed to acquire 3.5 acres of land and is presently engaged in paddy cultivation. Members underwent career guidance and counselling training facilitated by the project and collectively chose to pursue training in the agribusiness sector. They streamlined their involvement in cash crops, specifically paddy production, due to the high demand from consumers in Mwanza Municipality located in Tanzania and neighbouring countries.
The project coordinated capacity building sessions provided by several Government Extension Officers and M.A Agrovet, a local stakeholder equipped with numerous technical skills. The members learnt how to apply good agronomic practices like seedbed preparation, spacing, post-harvest handling and proper use of the right pesticides. The project also pre-financed a water pump valued at CHF 1,110 to assist the group in irrigation. The projections of their first harvest are promising with an estimated 107 rice bags expected and an income of CHF 2,020.
As an outcome of the engaging training sessions, the group has registered itself with the local government authority as required by law and has opened a group savings account.
‘We would like to thank Swisscontact for implementing the U-LEARN II project in our area. We have built our skill set in agribusiness especially in paddy production and we project an increase in the incomes of all our members, some of whom were not self-reliant before. We now see the sustainability in self-employment and can even plan to better support our families. We are confident of a good harvest as we have applied the tactics taught during the various training sessions. The water pump has also really helped us attend to our crop. We plan to save a portion of our profits to enable us to engage in production on a larger scale next season,’ said Samson, the Millenium Interface Group Chairman.